big data

AB InBev Sets Up Shop on University of Illinois Campus—for Research Lab

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 5, 2013 03:45 PM

If you need help with beer, college students might just be the best people to ask for advice.

That seems to be the thinking behind Anheuser-Busch InBev's new research lab, appropriately dubbed the Bud Lab, at the University of Illinois. The analytics center in the school's research park on its Champaign-Urbana campus will use data to "solve problems ranging from assortment optimization, social media and market trends to large-scale data initiatives," according to a statement on the school's website.

This will give Bud a “permanent presence on campus,” Claudio Garcia, AB InBev's chief people and technology officer, told Ad Age — but not in a college marketing sense. The research won’t be about consumption but about tapping into the bright young academics who are studying statistics, computer science, business and engineering to help the brewer solve some of the challenges that it's facing.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: JCPenney, Samsung, McDonald's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 5, 2013 09:26 AM

In the News

JCPenney reportedly shelves Martha Stewart deal. 

Samsung unveils Galaxy Gear smartwatch as Qualcomm also enters smartwatch fray.

McDonald's tests higher-priced dollar menu. 

Anheuser-Busch InBev partners with University of Illinois for big data edge.

Balenciaga sues former creative director for defaming brand. 

BlackBerry seeks buyer by November.

Campbell will launch soup K-Cups next year.

Chobani recalls "fizzy" Greek-yogurt cups.

Covergirl joins NFL's pitch to female fans.

Dunkin' Donuts taps Eli Manning to promote app.

El Chico expands rebranding program.

GoDaddy steps away from jiggle marketing.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Newcastle Gets Real, Shipwrecked Brew and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 22, 2013 06:30 PM

Newcastle Gets Real

Newcastle has taken a new tack in its advertising and it’s all about turning old beer advertising on its head. Beer marketers love to throw “heritage” imagery at consumers to make beer drinkers feel like they are part of something bigger, so Newcastle decided to go back to its roots, the English town of Newcastle, where residents—known as Geordies—are filled with humor and realism. The result? Newcastle’s “No Bollocks” ad campaign.

“If you look at the Geordies, they’re very friendly, down-to-earth; they don’t take themselves too seriously, and tell it like it is. We figured that is a really interesting space for us to be in," says Newcastle Brown Ale Brand Director Charles van Es, according to Fast Company's FastCoCreate blog. "We wanted to use that wit and dry sense of humor as our brand voice. We want to be transparent about the fact that we’re marketing to you and the fact that our beer comes from England.”Continue reading...

brands under fire

Drinkers Sue Anheuser-Busch InBev for Watering Down Beers

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 27, 2013 01:41 PM

Budweiser may want its consumers to turn to their brethren and say, “This Bud’s for you,” but there is a growing number of its flock that is increasingly upset with the brand.

Several new class-action suits against Anheuser-Busch filed in California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey claim that the brewer has been watering down 10 of its products, including Budweiser, Michelob and Hurricane High Gravity Lager in order to boost its own profits, NBC News reports. The word is that a few former employees have shared with others that the company waters down some of its brands “just before bottling and cuts the stated alcohol content by 3 percent to 8 percent.” Similar suits are planned for Colorado and Ohio. Continue reading...

political season

The Politics of Brands Avoiding Politics: 2012 Beer Edition

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 3, 2012 03:29 PM

With little to gain and a lot to lose, playing politics is something brands generally do from a position of neutrality ("7-Election"), low-brow humor (Gas-X's "Gas Crisis") or outright mocking of the system (Etch A Sketch; Reebok's 2003 Terry Tate candidacy). So when the Most Interesting Man in the World chose to host a fundraising event for President Barack Obama, Dos Equis's parent Heineken USA was understandably vexed, forced into one of those frustrating statements all brands hate to make that include the words "views are strictly his own, and do not represent."

But maybe Dos Equis — and Heineken — should play to their brand strengths. According to a recent study, both brands' drinkers trend Democratic, with the former rated the most popular beer amongst lefties. So when viewers drunkenly yell at the TV during the first 2012 presidential debate on Wednesday, chances are they will do so with very partisan bottles in hand.Continue reading...

branding together

AB InBev Buys Modelo for $20B to Make Corona and Budweiser Flagship Brands

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 29, 2012 04:56 PM

Anheuser-Busch InBev already owned half of Mexican Grupo Modelo but the world’s biggest brewer apparently needs to keep consuming all in its sight. InBev shelled out $20.1 billion to grab the other half of the brewer of such beers as Corona and Modelo and stake its claim to the growing Mexican market. The name of the website it set up to announce the deal says it all:

It's a huge purchase, to be sure, but AB InBev sees the upside in the company as a whole and its Corona brand specifically. Modelo “is Mexico's biggest brewer with a 50 percent-plus market share in a virtual duopoly with Heineken's FEMSA Cerveza in the world's fourth most-profitable beer market,” Reuters reports. “Corona is the biggest imported beer in the lucrative U.S. market.” InBev shelled out so much dough partly because Modelo stakeholders had no real incentive to sell.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Corona, RIM, Barclays and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 29, 2012 08:59 AM

In the News

Anheuser-Busch InBev hails adding Corona to stable of brands in $20 billion Modelo deal.

BlackBerry-maker RIM reports dire earnings, slashes 5,000 jobs and delays phone, sees shares plunge and erodes Canadian confidence.

Barclays faces political firestorm.

BMW and Toyota announce joint development of new sports car.

Coty nears IPO.

Family Dollar keeps thriving amid sluggish U.S. economy.

Ford warns of weaker profit because of Europe.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: AB InBev, DQNY, RIM and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 25, 2012 08:55 AM

In the News

AB InBev closes in on buying remainder of Mexico's Grupo Modelo for more than $12 billion.

Apple adds Yelp check-ins to iPhone maps app, sees Motorola Mobility patent case shut down by federal judge and retail workers described by NYT as "loyal but short on pay."

Best Buy tries to regain edge before back-to-school season.

BlackBerry owner RIM reportedly considers a plan to split its company in two.

Cadillac surprises with integration of Apple's Siri voice.

Carl's Jr. and Hardee's set Spider-Man movie tie-in.

Dewar's announces three-year partnership with TED.

Dairy Queen gripes about New York menu restrictions as it enters the city.Continue reading...

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